Condominium and Cooperative Law in Massachusetts
Cooperatives and condominiums are types of "common interest" communities.
These are communities in which each resident rents or owns a residential unit. The residential units are part of a larger building, or complex of buildings, which are owned by another entity, such as a corporation or association. The residents are responsible for the upkeep of common areas, such as lawns and walkways. Rather than personally tending to these things, residents typically pay a fee that covers these necessities.
Merely viewing one of these communities from the outside (or inside) will not let you know whether it's a cooperative or condominium community.
This is because there are no physical characteristics that can clearly distinguish one from the other. The basic difference lies in the legal ownership arrangement. In a condominium community, the units are actually owned by the residents. The residents also collectively own the common areas, holding joint title to it. In a cooperative community, the buildings and land which make up the houses are owned by a single entity, and the individual units are often rented rather than owned by the residents.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Needham, Massachusetts
Several Needham, Massachusetts laws affect common-interest communities. However, almost all of these laws govern real estate more generally, and there are very few laws written specifically for common interest communities. Such generally-applicable laws include zoning regulations, contracts, and the relations between landlords and tenants.
Usually, the rules established by the owner of the property, or the entity tasked with managing it, are going to have much more of a day-to-day effect on your life than any state laws governing these types of communities.
The land on which these communities sit is private property, so the owners have substantial leeway when it comes to setting rules regarding what tenants can and can't do on the property. These rules usually govern things like noise levels, cleanliness, long-term guests, and pets. They are often designed with the goal of balancing residents' rights to a clean and quiet neighborhood, with their individual autonomy.
Some of these rules, however, may not be enforceable, if push came to shove. This would depend on the specific laws of Needham, Massachusetts which regulate landlords and tenants.
Can a Needham, Massachusetts Attorney Help?
If you have a problem with your landlord, your community association, or a neighbor (which the landlord is unwilling or unable to address), an efficient real estate attorney in Needham, Massachusetts will be able to help.